Accidents can happen anywhere and at any time, including when you least expect them. One type of accident that often leads to severe injuries is when objects fall from heights and strike unsuspecting individuals. These incidents can occur in various settings, such as construction sites, retail stores, or even public spaces. In Georgia, like in many other states, there are specific laws and regulations in place to determine liability for injuries caused by falling objects. In this blog post, we will explore Georgia’s liability framework and help you understand your rights if you find yourself a victim of such an incident.
Georgia’s Laws on Falling Object Liability:
Georgia operates under a legal principle known as premises liability, which holds property owners responsible for maintaining a safe environment for visitors and occupants. This principle also extends to objects that are at risk of falling from structures or being improperly placed in areas accessible to the public.
Under Georgia law, property owners, managers, or tenants may be held liable if they fail to exercise reasonable care in preventing objects from falling and causing harm. This duty of care requires taking appropriate measures to ensure that objects are secured, adequately maintained, and properly stored.
When pursuing a claim for injuries caused by falling objects, it is crucial to establish negligence on the part of the responsible party. To do so, the following elements must typically be proven:
- Duty of care: The property owner or occupier had a legal duty to maintain a safe environment.
- Breach of duty: The responsible party failed to fulfill their duty by not taking reasonable steps to prevent objects from falling.
- Causation: The failure to maintain a safe environment directly caused the object to fall and result in injury.
- Damages: The injured party suffered physical, emotional, or financial harm as a result of the incident.
It is important to note that Georgia follows a comparative negligence rule. This means that if the injured party is found partially at fault for the incident, their compensation may be reduced in proportion to their degree of responsibility. However, as long as the injured party is less than 50% at fault, they can still pursue a claim for damages.
Steps to Take if Injured by a Falling Object:
If you have been injured by a falling object in Georgia, it is crucial to take the following steps to protect your rights and strengthen your potential claim:
- Seek medical attention: Your health and well-being should be your top priority. Seek immediate medical care for your injuries.
- Document the incident: Collect evidence, including photographs of the scene, the object that fell, and your injuries. Obtain contact information from any witnesses present at the time of the incident.
- Report the incident: Inform the property owner, manager, or supervisor about the accident and ensure that an incident report is filed.
- Preserve evidence: Do not dispose of any damaged clothing or personal items related to the incident, as they may be necessary for your case.
- Consult a personal injury attorney: Reach out to an experienced personal injury lawyer who can assess the details of your case, determine liability, and guide you through the legal process.
Assess the extent of your damages: In order to seek appropriate compensation, you need to determine the full extent of your injuries and the financial losses you have incurred. This may include medical bills, rehabilitation costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, and any future expenses related to your recovery. Keep a record of all relevant documentation, such as medical reports, receipts, and invoices.
Negotiate with insurance companies: In many cases, the liable party’s insurance company will be involved in the claim process. Be cautious when communicating with them and avoid providing any statements or signing any documents without consulting your attorney first. Insurance adjusters may attempt to minimize your claim or shift blame onto you. Having legal representation can help level the playing field and ensure your rights are protected.
File a lawsuit if necessary: If a fair settlement cannot be reached through negotiation or if the responsible party denies liability, your attorney may recommend filing a personal injury lawsuit. This legal action initiates the formal legal process and allows your case to be heard in court. Your attorney will guide you through each step of the litigation process, from filing the complaint to presenting evidence and arguments in front of a judge and jury, if necessary.
Be aware of the statute of limitations: In Georgia, there is a limited timeframe, known as the statute of limitations, within which you must file a personal injury lawsuit. It is crucial to consult with an attorney as soon as possible to ensure your claim is filed within the applicable time limit. Failing to meet this deadline may result in the court dismissing your case.
Trust the expertise of a personal injury attorney: Navigating a falling object injury claim can be complex and overwhelming, especially if you are dealing with physical and emotional recovery. Hiring a skilled personal injury attorney who specializes in premises liability cases can significantly enhance your chances of receiving fair compensation. They will handle the legal complexities, gather evidence, negotiate on your behalf, and advocate for your rights, allowing you to focus on your recovery.
Injuries caused by falling objects can have severe and long-lasting effects on victims. If you have been injured due to a falling object in Georgia, it is essential to take immediate action to protect your rights. By following the steps outlined in this blog post, from seeking medical attention and documenting the incident to consulting with a personal injury attorney, you can increase your chances of securing the compensation you deserve. Remember, each case is unique, and seeking professional legal advice tailored to your specific circumstances is crucial for a successful claim.
At the Keenan Law Firm, we specialize in helping individuals who have suffered injuries in cases involving liability for injuries caused by falling objects in Georgia. Here’s how we can assist you:
Expertise in premises liability law: Our attorneys have extensive knowledge and experience in handling premises liability cases, including those related to falling objects. We are well-versed in the specific laws and regulations governing liability in Georgia and stay updated on any changes or updates that may impact your case.
Thorough investigation: We will conduct a comprehensive investigation into your case. We gather evidence, interview witnesses, examine the scene of the incident, and analyze any available surveillance footage or documentation to establish liability. This meticulous approach helps strengthen your claim and build a compelling case on your behalf.
Determining all responsible parties: In falling object cases, there may be multiple parties who could be held liable for your injuries. We will identify all potentially responsible parties, such as property owners, managers, contractors, or other entities involved. Holding all accountable parties responsible can maximize your chances of obtaining fair compensation.
Evaluation of damages: Assessing the full extent of your damages is essential in seeking fair compensation. We will work with you to understand the physical, emotional, and financial impact of your injuries. We carefully evaluate medical records, bills, lost wages, and other relevant factors to ensure that all damages are properly accounted for in your claim.
Skillful negotiation and litigation: Our firm has a reputation for skillful negotiation with insurance companies and defense attorneys. We will advocate on your behalf, striving to reach a fair settlement that adequately compensates you for your injuries. However, if a fair settlement cannot be achieved, we have the trial experience necessary to take your case to court and fight for your rights.
Personalized representation and support: We understand the physical, emotional, and financial toll that falling object injuries can have on your life. We are committed to providing personalized support throughout the legal process. Our attorneys and staff will listen to your concerns, answer your questions, and keep you informed every step of the way, ensuring that you feel supported and empowered during this challenging time.
If you have been injured due to a falling object in Georgia, we, at the Keenan Law Firm, are here to help. With our expertise in premises liability law, dedication to a thorough investigation, and commitment to personalized representation, we can assist you in navigating the legal complexities, building a strong case, and seeking the compensation you deserve. Contact us today to discuss your falling object injury case and explore your legal options.